YOUNG people continue to get their foot on the career ladder thanks to a work experience programme delivered by Staffordshire County Council.
Megan Millard from Penkridge and Harry Wheat from Great Bridgford are the latest people to benefit from the programme, both securing full time jobs following their placements.
Megan started her twelve-week placement in December before securing her position as an Apprentice Business Processes Assistant in the county council’s Skills and Employability team.
The 23-year-old said: "My journey to Open Door started when I visited the Job Centre who told me about the programme and how it could help get me some work experience and help me find a job.
“It was just what I was looking for. I was placed within the Skills and Employability team where I got to learn a whole bunch of new things. So, when the chance to apply for an apprenticeship in the team came up after a few weeks I jumped at it. I was even more delighted when I was offered the apprenticeship. I haven’t looked back since and it’s all thanks to Open Door.”
Twenty-year-old Harry did his placement with the county council’s Communications and Digital teams before going on to secure his full-time position working in the Digital team. Harry said: “I discovered Open Door late last year when I was looking to find a work placement after my A Levels had finished. It’s an especially unique programme that offered me the chance to gain valuable experience in a supportive and encouraging work environment, which is something I think is very hard to find.
“I loved being able to get involved in so many different projects and tasks. It helped build my confidence and knowledge while learning new skills all the time. Open Door helped me to achieve my goal and start the career I was looking for. I’m extremely appreciative of being given this opportunity and looking forward to the future.”
The Open Door programme, which was introduced in 2009, helps prepare people for the world of work by offering them a twelve week work experience placement. Over 1,100 people from across the county have already benefited from the programme so far.
The programme provides work placements within council departments and external organisations depending on the candidates preferred area of work. During the placement people get valuable work experience which they can put on their CV, a reference from their manager, as well as access to certain training courses. People also get the opportunity to apply for any internally advertised jobs with the council.
Philip White, Cabinet Member for Skills and Employability at Staffordshire County Council said: “It’s great to see another two people benefit from our Open Door programme and the valuable work experience it offers.
“It’s proved to be an incredibly successful way of helping people into work and in many cases, into the career that they have always wanted.
“The programme is available to anyone over 18 and focuses on helping people who face difficulties and barriers in finding work. This could include people with disabilities, mental health issues, ex-offenders, children leaving care, school leavers, and graduates.”
People can find out more about the programme at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/opendoor